An English In Kentucky


















Sunday November 19th 2017Tim Candler9


      Those of us who may or may not be that interested in current events, but for some reason or other still aimlessly seek a silver lining somewhere in the news could well have come across reference to a 1999 study from social psychology titled The Kruger Dunning Effect, a misreading of which might well have tempted some to produce an explanation for our current predicament. A careless reading of the study would suggest that "The less competent a person, the more competent they think they are, and this confluence can make a person irredeemably obnoxious." This is actually Fake News that bristles a little on the boardwalks of an academia that has long been chastised for lack of relevance in a new age of communication that depends for it's income upon brevity in its passion to appeal to the least and most wretched part of each of us. Should you be tempted by the misreading, and are short of time, best to recall that a more accurate reading of the study and its criticisms might go this way "A jackass, like a rose, is a jackass no matter how competent or incompetent he or she might be." Certainly a Eureka sprang from my lips, but not knowing whether or not I am competent or incompetent, I have come to the conclusion that to avoid being a jackass I must endeavor to improve my grammar, my sentence structure, my punctuation. Spelling will rightly remain one of the holy mysteries, but call the entire exercise a come to Jesus moment between myself and the English Language as it is written.



     And I fully intend to begin lesson one with an understanding of the Colon, not talking the digestive aid, we're talking the two full stops, one on top of the other, and we're talking the full stop on top of a comma, or the Semi-Colon. Both mysterious little punctuation marks that figure quite large, not only in literature, you can find them in lists, tables and a whole bunch of things including my imagination were they lurk in the corridors along with memories of detention and wholly obnoxious jackass type statements such as "In future you will...."  Fortunately there is no shortage of information about the Colon and the Semi-Colon, their ubiquity as a totally confusing punctuation marks draw considerable attention from millions of people who quite clearly have nothing better to do. Sadly if I'm to begin to understand either one of them, I have first to grasp the meaning of a Clause its relationship to an Independent Clause, and Connections between Independent Clauses or boring old Clauses provided by either Conjunctive Adverbs or Transitional Phrases. And while I probably have a couple of years remaining to me during which I might make the journey into a comprehension of these weighty issues, so long as there is food on the table I am tempted by Job's uncontrollable Bellowing Behemoth, to remain ignorant and dismissive, a farewell to curiosity. Yes indeed, the Psalms of David were written by a repentant king; broken by his sins; tears in his eyes: a warning to the power hungry, not a road map to a seat in the US Senate. Amen. And if you're interested in the Behemoth it's Job 40 15-24:


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